The new Isthmus Conference building in the State of Oaxaca, will become a center for greater impact throughout communities in the region.
December 16, 2022 | Puebla, Mexico | Cristel Romero and Inter-American Division News
Five years after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake hit the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, killing nearly 100 people and damaging more than 110,000 houses and structures, the Seventh-day Adventist Church inaugurated a brand new conference office building to minister to the growing church and community during a special ceremony.
“The opening of this new building represents a firm advance in the consolidation of the church in this area and also represents a tool to continue in the fulfillment of the mission,” said Pastor Abraham Sandoval, president of the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union. Sandoval spoke dozens of local church leaders and members of the Isthmus Conference in Matias Romero de Avendaño, Oaxaca, Nov. 13, 2022.The earthquake, which struck thousands of communities on Sep. 7, 2017, mobilized the church across state lines to assist those who lost their homes. Since 2012, the conference headquarter office was operating in a house converted into an office building in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, but after the earthquake it was declared unsafe. Conference administrators and staff had to split its operations in different locations.
Pastor Jose Luis Ramírez, secretary of the Isthmus conference, publicly thanked God for His providence with resources and means to build the new facility. The new office is much larger with surrounding natural green areas, and less susceptible to earthquakes, said Ramírez. “We believe that this [new office] will bring about a new drive to the mission of the church and we believe that it is an important step to prepare the people who await the soon coming of Jesus Christ,” he said.There are more spacious offices, a conference room that can seat 30 persons, a conference room that can fit 150 persons, a media studio, a cafeteria space, and several storage rooms, he explained. “There are so many other positive aspects in the new conference facility with plenty of trees, green areas and a spacious parking lot.”
Church leaders made the decision to search for another location since there were serious structural damages to the administrative offices in Juchitán de Zaragoza, and focused on moving away from the aftershocks and more toward where the greatest concentration of the membership is, approximately 60 minutes away in the Matias Romero region in Oaxaca, explained Ramírez.The Isthmus Conference is one of 11 conferences and missions operated by the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, and it oversees part of the state which has 203 churches and more than 22,000 church members.
As church leaders and members gathered during the inaugural ceremony, Pastor Sandoval reminded them that it was important for the church conference office to have a more visual identity in the region for the mission to be fulfilled more resolutely.Sandoval listed the functions of the conference office in the region. “The task at hand is to motivate spiritual growth, lead in as a center of evangelism strategies, motivate pastors and members to disciple others, aim to become a powerful communication media center and a center for community outreach activities, as well as a center that can cater to children, young people and adults,” he said.
Church administrators and leaders prayed for the church and its mission in the region before touring the new facility. The inauguration of the new Isthmus Conference building kicked off union leadership meetings onsite and local plenary session.